With the Final Four set to tip off in Detroit, MI this weekend, The Nielsen Company has assembled the following facts and figures looking at media and viewer data from the NCAA Tournament so far:
- The average household rating for the tournament to date is 5.3%. The number is up a tick from the 5.2% through the same time last year.
- An average of 9.6 million viewers tuned in to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games this year - the most average viewership for those games since 2006.
- The most-watched session of the tournament so far was the second round - which featured three hotly contested games - on Sunday, March 22nd at 5pm ET. An average of 11.2 million viewers tuned in to watch Louisville-Siena, Michigan State-USC, or Marquette-Missouri during that time.
- The talk of the blogosphere among the Final Four teams is Michigan State, who has the fortune of playing for a national championship in front of a home crowd in Detroit. The Spartans captured almost 34% of discussion involving any one of the Final Four schools over the last month. UNC captured 26% of the buzz, followed by UCONN with 22% and Villanova with 19%.
Percent of Blog Buzz for Final Four NCAA Teams, March 1st -March 31st, 2009
- Internet sports sites surged in March as a result of March Madness. The number of unique visitors to sports sites peaked the week of March 22nd - the week leading up and into the Sweet 16 - with 46.5 million people logging on.
Sports Websites - Unique Audience
- According to a Nielsen Sportsquest poll, heavy NCAA Men's Basketball fans were 131% more likely to have participated in a tournament pool this year than the total U.S. population.
- Sportsquest also found that 7.9% of total respondents said they watched the opening round games at a location other than their home or someone else's home, with 27% of those respondents saying that they watched the first round of NCAA March Madness games at work. About 38% of those same respondents said they watched these games at a bar or restaurant.
For more information on March Madness trends and insights, please contact Aaron Lewis.